The horrific Iranian airliner crash on Wednesday morning that killed all 176 people on board could have been a Russian missile, it was claimed, as Downing Street said it was investigating whether the plane had been shot.
Ukraine’s Security Council secretary Oleksiy Danilov told reporters that a Russian-made missile was a probable cause after Iran said it was simply an engine failure.
“A hit by a missile, possibly a Tor missile system, is one of the main (theories), as information has surfaced on the Internet about parts of a missile found near the crash site,” he said. -he declares.
The damage to the Boing 737’s fuselage is eerily similar to the shell impact marks seen on Malaysia Air flight MH137, which was hurled from the sky by a Russian-made missile over Ukraine in 2014.
And in another twist, a Downing Street ad this afternoon said the government would look into reports that flight PS752 was shot down.
Other alternative explanations for the crash which are “under study”, according to Danylov, are a midair collision with a drone or “another flying object”, an explosion on the plane “following a terrorist attack “.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he plans to speak personally with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the accident and the investigation.
When asked to confirm that the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 – which had 138 Canadian nationals on board – had “categorically” not been shot down, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to take action. engage, claiming it was “too early to speculate.”
Meanwhile, US sources say US intelligence has detected infrared pulses from two missile launches, likely Russian-made Tor SA-15s targeting the Ukrainian plane.
There is speculation in the intelligence community that the launches may have been the result of ‘mistaken identity’ by Iranian air defense teams who expected retaliation for their missile attack on the airbase. from Al Asad.
The aircraft’s two black boxes were recovered, but they were severely damaged in the explosion when the aircraft’s fully charged fuel tanks exploded on impact with the ground.
There are very few facilities with the necessary equipment to retrieve data from black boxes, and most of them are in the United States.
Given the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran at the present time, with fears that World War III could be triggered, the chances that Iranian authorities will allow the wreck to be shipped to the United States. are weak.
The reputations of the Boeing 737 builders, which are already suffering a public relations disaster after the fatal crashes involving the MAX variant of the 737, are likely to deteriorate even further if the cause of the crash is definitively proven to be a technical failure.
Meanwhile, an international investigative team has named four suspects, three Russians and a Ukrainian, whom they plan to question as part of the investigation into the missile attack on Malaysian Airlines MH137.